293 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, 3150

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Flashback Friday!

The Mayoral fraternity is pretty close, and in simpler times it was great to catch up with my counterpart from the Stonnington City Council, Mayor Cr Steve Stefanopoulos,

This is a troubling time, but I know that all Councils are working hard to ensure that essential services continue. There is a lot that we can do assist, and be assisted by, neighbouring Councils

We’re all in this together and together we’ll come out the other side smarter and wiser than before

Stay safe and stay home!!
Sunday roasts are back in vogue!! ๐Ÿ˜‹

(Photos taken 10 seconds apart. One has a bigger appetite ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ™ƒ)
This is why everyone needs to take social distancing seriously. We all have a role to play in protecting our fellow residents. Those who are treating this as a big beat-up need to stop before people die.
Despite what is happening around us, the institution of Government must go on, and is arguably even more important than ever.

Surreal scenes in our chambers tonight with Councillors spread out and our Executive team relocated in to the public gallery.

I’ve been quiet lately because there has been a lot going on, but rest assured we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our staff and residents while maintaining critical services to our community.

Now more than ever we all need to look after each other. I had the tough conversation with my (almost) five year old today about cancelling the birthday party she’s been looking forward to for almost twelve months. We’ve also informed our parents to stay away.

This is the toughest situation I’ve ever faced in my lifetime but I am confident we will all get through it together. Stay safe!
We had booked a night away on the Peninsula last night as we had a wedding to go to. Unfortunately it was cancelled, but despite Airbnb offering full refunds we opted to support local business in these tough times. The sleep in without kids was a bonus too!

Breakfast at Pelikan Société in Hastings this morning; Delicious food and a great view #SupportLocal
Stay home. Distance yourself. Protect the vulnerable. Think about others. Please.
A backstage peak of our live City of Monash webcast event with Clare Bowditch for #MonashIDW2020 #thisismonash

Tune in here: http://webcast.monash.vic.gov.au/livestreamevents.php
In troubled times you need moments that lighten your mood and bring a genuine smile to your face.

This was it for me this morning ๐Ÿ˜
It is with great disappointment that I advise that the City of Monash has made the tough decision to cancel next weekends Live At Warrawee event.

This is one of my favourite events of the year and I know that there are many in our community who will also be disappointed. However, given the current situation with the Corona virus, it is the right thing to do - it’s simply not worth the risk.

The situation is changing on an hourly basis and we will keep residents informed with the most up-to-date information via our website. Please look after one another and stay safe!
It’s a little outside Monash, but Donna, the kids and I love heading down to the new McKinnon Reserve and popping in for a delicious ice cream at Dolce House Gelato

We’re a big fan of the salted caramel (although they haven’t had any for a while) and mango flavours ๐Ÿ˜‹
Great to host Whitehorse City Council Mayor, Sharon Ellis, for lunch in Glen Waverley recently. Awesome food and great company!
Awesome evening last week at Mercedes-Benz Waverley for the season launch for Mazenod Football Club & Mazenod Panthers All Ability Football Club.

I’ve posted before about the amazing work the club does with an all abilities team (the only one in Monash). Very proud that the City of Monash last year resolved to waive ground fees for all abilities teams!

With Matt Fregon MP, Cr Robert Davies & Cr Saloumi
Attitudes matter!

Happy International Women’s Day to all the women out there, and specifically to the four women who make up my immediate family.

Although we’ve still got a bucketload more work to do (and I‘ll continue the fight), I’m proud that my kids will grow up in a world that will allow them to achieve their full potential!
Excited to launch the City of Monash Cricket Forum as part of our commitment to develop strategic sporting plans for Tennis, Soccer, Cricket and Aussie Rules. Terrific turnout to see a presentation on the status of Cricket around the country, along with analysis of trends, and the state of our local facilities

We went through a similar process with Tennis and Soccers clubs last year with outstanding success. Membership in one club more than tripled as a result - wow

We’ll launching our AFL Forum later in the year!
People aren’t as clever as they think. All the paper products might be out of stock at Coles and Woolworths, but plenty available at CTC in Oakleigh Central (well, there was) ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚
Not a spare seat in the house at 9pm on a Wednesday at Dragon Hot Pot in Glen Waverley. I’m a regular here as it’s only two doors down from Council with sensational food with a heap of hot spice ๐Ÿ˜‹
Water and sugar. What more could you need?

๐Ÿค”
On my right is Rolly. He’s been keeping stats at the club since 1949. Every single run, every single wicket, every single milestone. There’s literally hundreds of folders. An amazing story of a life of dedication to a local sporting club. Absolutely in awe; what an inspiration.

Big thanks to the Oakleigh Cricket Club for having me down for dinner after training, and good luck in the finals!
Welcome to the 400 new Aussie’s who took the pledge to commit themselves to our country. An amazing night as it always is!
Cracking weather for the annual Cerebral Palsy Education Centre fundraising golf day. A brilliant day to be carried through a round of gold by Cr Robert Davies, Cr Shane McCluskey and Mulgrave FC President Scott Davidson. Heaps of fun!
The Dahlia Society of Victoria, annual show is on this weekend at the Mount Waverley Community Centre and they’re celebrating their 60th birthday and 27th year at the centre. I was amazed at the different varieties on show; I never knew so many existed.

Pop on down today or tomorrow afternoon. Entry is only $5 for adults and they’re also serving Devonshire tea ๐Ÿ˜
Last week I was joined by Cr Shane McCluskey on a visit to the local Girl Guides who are raising money for the Monash Children’s Hospital. I was a sea scout many moons ago now and understand the invaluable friendships that are formed at groups such as these.

I’m still amazed at just how many community groups we have around this fabulous city.
In a coup for #Oakleigh, the first VCAT hearing rooms outside the CBD opened recently. It was fantastic to join Attorney General Jill Hennessy MP for the official opening. I’m tipping they’ll be a bit of fierce competition amongst members to be in the room with fabulous views of Warrawee Park
BREAKING NEWS: The City of Monash is heading for net carbon neutrality by 2025

On the back of a motion I moved last September, Council last night considered a comprehensive report in to dealing with a whole range of issues including reducing corporate emissions, use of recycled content in roads and replacement of key assets with clean energy. And we’re doing it all with a net cost benefit to ratepayers!

This is one of the proudest moments of my time on Council and it was great to have the support of the overwhelming majority of my colleagues to implement such a massive change in direction

The amendment that I moved last night is in the comments below.
This is the Notting Hill Hotel on a Wednesday evening Trivia night - packed. When I was a uni student at Monash this was a popular hangout

An amazing beer garden, a sensational steak house and a warm indoor wood fire. There’s not much more you could ask for in a local

What makes this place so special today is that they are fiercely anti-pokies ๐Ÿ˜ Visiting “The Nott” is a reminder of what a good local pub was before this scourge on society infiltrated pubs around the state

Pretty damn proud to have such a great local pub in my ward!
What a night! Tally Ho Fitness Group started out in 1970 as a group of young men seeking fitness in an era when fitness wasn’t really a thing. They have met, rain hail or shine, at 7am every Saturday morning for the last 50 years, even meeting on Christmas Day when it’s fallen on a Saturday

It was an honour to join them recently to celebrate this amazing achievement. I’m pictured bottom left with one of the 9 remaining members, Ted, who has been there since the beginning. They spoke passionately about the friendship and camaraderie that has kept them coming back week in, week out

They only meet for 90 minutes, so if you’re keen to be part of them look the group up at tallyho.org.au
Where’s else would you want to be on a 30 degree day other than at the Clayton Festival - on until 6pm - come on down!
Touché!
Crystal Poultry in Oakleigh Central - an amazing array of delicious poultry. Our family are big fans of chicken and their mango fillets are just sensational. You can’t go wrong! #SupportLocal
This is Piterson, and the story is funny.

Piterson is my personal trainer and for more than a year he’s been talking to me nearly every time I’ve seen him about his citizenship process as he moved through the system. In all the time I’ve known him, despite my job changing and having to reschedule appointments, he’s never once asked what it is I do. He had no idea I was the Mayor of Monash.

You should have seen his face on Monday night when I walked out at the citizenship ceremony in my robes to present him with his Australian Citizenship.

These moments are always special for me. It’s an absolute highlight of my job to see the joy on people’s faces when they’re presented with their Citizenship. It’s one of the greatest days of their lives and it’s an honour to be part of it. For me, this one was extra special.

Congratulations to Piterson and all the other people who committed themselves to becoming an Aussie!
Great to catch up with Mayor of Whitehorse, Sharon Ellis, Councillor Ben Stennett and Paul Hamer MP for dinner at Dumpling King in Box Hill. Their traders are doing it tough as well. Delicious food, great wine and amazing company #SupportLocal
We popped in to the brand new sensory playspace at Wellesley Reserve in Glen Waverley on the weekend. The girls had an absolute ball but it left them a bit tired and ratty for the rest of the day. Wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to visit in the afternoon!

https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/News/Sensory-playspace-at-Wellesley-Reserve-now-open
This weeks municipality cafe tour took me to SHINE CAFE in Hamilton Place Mt Waverley. I was pretty happy that Zoe didn’t want to eat the strawberries that came with her pancakes. Yuuuum
An incredible honour to be invited to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Emperor with the Consul General of Japan. The drumming performance was phenomenal - I’ve posted up a video on my Instagram page (@crstuartjames) - check it out!

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B8i0OjogqXE/?igshid=aiztaxhovj9p
Excited to launch Stage 2 of the $3.583 million Caloola Reserve redevelopment which includes a brand new pavilion. Last year Stage 1 was completed with the opening of 8 brand new synthetic grass tennis courts

Just next door, the City of Monash is spending $25 million on a redevelopment of the Oakleigh Recreation Centre which will have a brand new gymnastic stadium and basketball/netball courts

The area will become the sport mecca of Monash and the envy of people across Melbourne

Oakleigh Tennis Club Monash City FC East Oakleigh Cricket Club Oakleigh Cricket Club
It was a privilege to be invited to lunch at the House of Delight in Glen Waverley today by Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos MP, to show support for City of Monash businesses and the Chinese community, who are having a tough time at the moment due to the impacts of the #coronavirus

I was pleased that MPs from across the region also came to show their support; Matt Fregon MP, Steve Dimopoulos MP, Meng Heang Tak MP, Sonja Terpstra MP and Paul Hamer MP
This is what a MTF Executive meeting looks like. I love the flexibility of #LocalGovernment. And April loves the chance to catch Trains, Trams & Buses (naturally we travelled on all three modes). A Transport nerd like her daddy 

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš‚ ๐Ÿšƒ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ˜
Great to join Cr Rebecca Paterson and Cr Shane McCluskey for a drink at Mocha Jo's after a meeting last night. Our businesses in Glen Waverley have been suffering of late but it was terrific to see the car parks full and the strip thriving - we were lucky to even find a seat!
My kids just love straws, but I absolutely hate them using the plastic ones that seem to be commonplace. Really excited to get home today and find that my Lujo Home reusable straws have arrived! Rubber and foldable with a neat little carry case ๐Ÿ˜

Thanks for the recommendation Cr Rebecca Paterson! (Link in comments)
My baby girl started kinder this week. They grow up way too fast ๐Ÿ˜ข
Sensational day last weekend in beautiful sunshine to bring people together. This was the second iteration of the new City of Monash “Meet Your Street” program aimed at introducing neighbours to each other

We had a coffee cart, games to teach people how to recycle different items, face painting, drawing, muffins and most importantly great local residents wanting to be part of their neighbourhood. We even had two neighbours who live back to back but had never met ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Interested in having one in your area? Visit here for more information: https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Council/Our-Organisation/Advocacy/Meet-Your-Street-campaign
This morning I ventured outside my ward and visited Hyde n seek cafe for breakfast, a favourite of Cr Rebecca Paterson. Deeeeeelicious!
Spotted in Clayton tonight while letterboxing. 

Stunning. 

And at least 25 years old.

This is exactly why, in June last year, Council resolved to introduce mandatory controls on tree removals. Unless a tree is within 3m of a house (or 2m in Oakleigh or Hughesdale), it can't be removed without a permit.

No more moonscaping.

No more destruction of our tree canopy.

You can read more here, Item 1.2 - https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Council/Agendas-Minutes/25-June-2019#agenda
I’ve been going to Just Cuts for Men at Oakleigh Central for a while now. Friendly staff and great haircuts at a reasonable price. If I only had a little more hair to style ๐Ÿค”

Oh, and I’ve discovered April isn’t such a bad photographer ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Great afternoon with Rotary Club of Oakleigh Clayton Huntingdale celebrating Australia Day at the South Oakleigh Bowling Club. We even had our own yakitori barbecue for cooking sensational shish kebabs; a little twist to add to the traditional barbie. Awesome people doing awesome work!
Fabulous morning welcoming our newest Australian citizens to the City of Monash and joining in the Australia Day festivities. Big fan of the Kangaroo sausages!

Wherever you are and whatever you’re choosing to do today, happy Australia Day!
See you down there!
Energy hit at Mocha Jo's before today’s Australia Day celebrations and citizenship ceremony!

We kick off at 10am - come down and join in the fun at the Civic Centre in Glen Waverley
Narkoojee Winery have some of the best wines going around. We’ve been going to Red Emperor Chinese Restaurant for almost a decade. What an amazing match!

Great food, great wine, great company. What else do you need?
Happy Lunar New Year. May the year of the rat bring you good luck, wealth and prosperity!

ๆ–ฐๅนดๅฟซไน๏ผŒ็ฅๅคงๅฎถๅœจๆœ‰ไธ€ไธชๅนธ่ฟ๏ผŒๅฅๅบท๏ผŒ็น่ฃ็š„้ผ ๅนด๏ผŒๆ–ฐๅนดๅฟซไน๏ผ๏ผ
When Daddy gets home from a Public Transport Users Association working weekend away ๐Ÿ˜
Australians gamble more per capita than any nation in the world. Anything you can think of, you can bet on. While other countries are taking massive steps towards dealing with gambling related issues, our Government’s sit on their hands doing nothing. The City of Monash has a proud record of speaking out against this scourge on society. It does real harm to vulnerable people and families.

I’m also sick of being inundated with gambling advertising. It’s everywhere you go; on television, in the papers, online, at sporting events, on public transport - the list goes on. 

When is enough enough, and when are our Government’s going to act in the best interests of its citizens instead of worrying about party donations?

Pokies Play You
Everyone knows that Basil & Macrina make amazing coffee (it’s my regular stop off on the way to Council), but did you know they make a terrific breakfast and delicious strawberry milkshakes? They’re also open on Sundays!

Every Friday night we get our Fish ‘n Chips at Macrina Fish & Chips just a few shops down as well. With Tarantino's Pizzeria and a local IGA, Macrina Street is the definition of a thriving local shopping centre

Check it out and #SupportLocal
Do you remember the ”little miss” books from when you were a kid? We’ve just bought the set and the children are hooked. I love reliving my childhood ๐Ÿ‘Š
The kids wanted to plant fruit and veggies, so out came the old rose bushes and in went carrots, lettuce, strawberries, bok choy, cucumber and corn. Now they need to learn how to tend to them ๐Ÿ˜€
Today I wrote to my counterparts at East Gippsland Shire Council, Mansfield Shire Council, Wellington Shire Council, Rural City of Wangaratta, Towong Shire Council and Alpine Shire Council to offer the thoughts and sympathies of Monash Council and it’s residents

These are unprecedented times with extraordinarily devastating results. The City of Monash stands shoulder to shoulder with our friends from around the state and remain willing to assist in whatever way we can

If you’d like to contribute in some way, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can : https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/News/Where-to-donate-for-bushfire-relief
It might be New Years Eve but the weather is brilliant for letterboxing. Zoe started out okay but she became a little bit tired so ended up on Daddy’s head ๐Ÿคฃ

Happy New Year to you all. Be safe and don’t drive!
Zoe is a little addicted fo Neil Diamond. Whenever I wear jeans she runs off and grabs hers and sings “As long as I can have you here with me I’d much rather be forever in blue jeans, babe!”
Works are progressing quickly on the $25 million redevelopment of the Oakleigh Recreation Centre. The frame is up and by mid-March we’ll be touring the site. This is the biggest single infrastructure project the City of Monash has ever undertaken. Can’t wait for it to be completed!
This is not okay....
Summer fun #BoxingDayTest
Let’s be honest; no one can be bothered cooking on Boxing Day and Ferrari Pizza are open all throughout the holiday period. They’ve been making delicious pizzas for as long as I can remember and the toppings are always generous. I worked on Lygon Street for 12 years and none of those shops made pizzas that matched up to Ferrari

Their obsession with the Richmond FC is a little disappointing, but no-one’s perfect. My wife isn’t a massive pizza fan but tells me their pasta is a hit as well. You only have to move off the couch to open the door; 9569 0910
#Evidence
Merry Christmas everyone

Thank-you to all those who have, and are, working today. Our emergency services (police, fire, ambulance and SES volunteers) but also all those who are seldom acknowledged; our magnicant City of Monash waste team (who were emptying bins first thing this morning), our train, tram, bus and taxi drivers, our hospoitality workers, the service station attendants, the medical professionals on-call, the IT support team - the list goes on

It's going to be a massive year next year, and I can't wait!!
You’re probably wondering why I took a photo of a footpath. Well, it’s because it didn’t exist six months ago. It may seem like a rather uninspiring post, but this footpath means that parents with prams, children on bikes and elderly people with walkers, to name a few, no longer have to walk down the middle of the road

It’s the little things #PrincessStreet #Oakleigh
I’ve been buying Aesthéte Home scented candles for years from Inchmeal. They’re scattered all around my house. Last week at the Christmas market I was excited to run in to Jacqui, the amazing person who’s been making them for me. Thank you for making my house smell amazing every time I walk in the door!
It’s that time of the year where Christmas parties are in full swing. On the weekend I took the family to the Winifred Street gathering. There’s a few of these street parties around Oakleigh and I always have such an enjoyable time having a quiet drink with passionate local residents who love where they live. A terrific day once again!

If you’re interested in getting your neighbours together and having an event, Monash has grants available; https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Awards-Grants/Meet-Your-Street-Grants
Croquet. I remember playing in my grandfathers backyard as a youngster. You can imagine my excitement when I found out that Monash had their very own club, so I went down to check it out and I’m hooked again

Located in Electra Reserve, Ashwood, they play socially at 9am Tuesdays and Saturday’s and from 6pm on Wednesday’s. Give it a go, you’re be surprised how fun it can be. Contact Kaye on 0403 160 340
The Inchmeal Christmas is on until 3pm today in Westerfield Drive, Notting Hill. Amazing stalls and beautiful home made gifts and wares, not to mention the amazing coffee. Pop on down for a wander and #SupportLocal
Magical indeed, and well worth a visit - At Caulfield Racecourse until the end of the year
If there’s two things Greek’s are known for, it’s their food and singing. Great afternoon joining the Faros Greek Senior group for their Christmas breakup earlier this week
Great to join with parents, teachers and Meng Heang Tak MP at Oakleigh South Primary School to officially launch the new robotics facility which was one of the winners of the local ‘Pick my project’ grants. Amazing to see the smiles of kids faces as they showcased some of their amazing projects

Times have changed since I played Carmen Sandiego on the Apple IIe in grade six ๐Ÿคฃ
Yesterday we opened the new play space at Evelyn Street in Clayton. It came about after a number of residents campaigned for its upgrade. In the 2019/2020 budget my bid for these funds went through and this is the result. The two main play pieces take the form of an ant. What perfect way to round out a very busy year.

Enjoy!
We’re listening, and here until 6pm.

Today we’re down at the opening of another playground, Evelyn Street Clayton. I had numerous residents campaigning for this to be done and as a result of a budget bid - here it is.

Come down and say hello!
The band is warming up backstage while Bethany Fisher Music entertains the biggest crowd we’ve ever had at the Monash Carols by Candlelight; latest estimations are 30,000 - Wow!
The scene is set.... looking forward to tonight’s Monash Carol’s by Candlelight ๐Ÿ˜
Last week it was the Friends of Damper Creek Christmas party, this week it was the Friends of Scotchman’s Creek. Two fantastic groups looking after our native land. A visit to Valley Reserve is like escaping to a beautiful oasis. You have no idea you’re in the middle of suburbia. How lucky are we?
Another brilliant turnout for the annual Carols in Park in Oakleigh. I hate to single out any one group, but the dance moves from Amsleigh Park Primary were something else. Well done to all the schools and churches who put the event together

If you still haven’t bought yourself a real Christmas tree ๐ŸŽ„ head down to OC Connections on Warrigal Road

And don’t forget the massive Monash Carols at Jells Park on Sunday from 6pm finishing with fireworks at 10pm
Yesterday Year 8 students at Avila College spent the morning learning about what Council does and the services we provide. I was incredibly excited to join them for a wrap up and answer some gruelling questions on various topics including recycling, challenges with being Mayor, why I decided to run for Council and how they can become further involved

Our future is in good hands!
It’s that time of the year again. Tradition says Christmas trees shouldn’t be put up until the 1st of December. Well, my kids couldn’t wait so we made our annual trip to OC Connections on Warrigal Road

Pop down and grab yours and support this amazing organisation helping those with disabilities
We are blessed in Monash with two amazing natural wildlife areas in Scotchman’s and Dampers Creek. We’re also lucky to have two amazing groups that dedicate their time to preserving them. Today I joined the Friends of Damper Creek for their annual Christmas BBQ to say thankyou on behalf of the city for the amazing work they do ๐Ÿ˜
Amazing morning at the Mini Maker Faire, an initiative of the City of Monash’s Economic Development team in collaboration with Monash University and the State Government

Autonomous vehicles, robots, satellite operated vehicles. I might look a little silly, but the virtual reality equipment I was using is also used by NASA to train astronauts. When this picture was taken, I was in the middle of fixing some wiring on a satellite in space
Now that I’ve become Mayor, the area I look after has become just a tad bigger. It was great to get out and meet our Mount Waverley residents at Hamilton Place
It’s not really on the main drag, but you should definitely pop past WithOneBean Coffee in a Regent Street Oakleigh (just near the corner of Burlington). Their coffee is absolutely delicious and they’re a not-for-profit organisation who do fabulous work supporting farmers in Timor-Leste. They’re also completely carbon neutral and sell offsets to other companies

Did you know that the coffee many shops source, the coffee you probably drink, is bought for almost nothing? Only 40.4% of coffee growers have adequate toilet facilities, 42.9% have dirt floors and only 55.7% have access to electricity, well short of averages across Timor-Leste

Pop down, have one of their amazing coffees and find out more about what they do - I’m sure you’ll be amazed!